Report: Sky Ride Bradford


Event: 31st July 2011

Sky Ride brings summer to Bradford as over 6000 participant's cycle around the 6.4Km closed road circuit around the streets of Bradford. The event was organised by Sky ride, British Cycling and City of Bradford MDC.

The Lord Mayor of Bradford, Councillor Neevda Ikram, along with Sky ride Ambassadors, TV Star Angela Griffin, Tour De France rider Ben Swift of Team Sky, Para-Cyclists Jon-Allen Butterworth and World Champion Para Cyclist Tel Byrne from Team GB took to the start to help the early morning cyclists on their way for the second fun Sky ride around the city of Bradford.

The 6.4km circuit made its way around Peel Park, out onto to Cliffe Road and down onto Bolton Road for gentle descent down to Bolton Cathedral around Little Germany and back up Bolton Road to enter Peel Park by the BMX track, riding past all the fun events that both British Cycling, Sky and the City of Bradford had organised for children to stop and try as they made their way thru the park and back onto Cliffe Road for the final short ascent turning back into the park further up with the chance to stop off at the Sky ride Bike Cafe before completing the circuit in full.

The relaxed atmosphere was evident as many local families with small children took advantage of being able to ride safely into Bradford city centre without the worry of vehicles. With many of the families returning with rosy cheeks and great big smiles as they made it back up the steep climb into Peel Park. Once in Peel Park, the children could enjoy a breather by taking part in several "have a go" events.

Local BMX and 4X rider Martin Ogden and his family demonstrated their bike handling skills on the BMX track, giving advice and encouraging 100's of kids to come and have a go around the BMX track. The four Sky ride ambassadors joined in with Go Ride sessions, Ben Swift and Tel Byrne gave cornering advice to the youngsters in their Go Ride session.

The City of Bradford MBC, provided a "be active" area, with various activities for the children to try from, surfing, bouncy castles and slides, face painting and miniature zorbing but the most popular were the kango bouncy boots.

Bikeability held road safety sessions for the children. They set up a small road system so that the children could learn how to ride and handle their bikes safely on the roads.

Sky Ride People

We caught up with just a few of the thousands on the streets to find out what they thought about Sky Ride Bradford and if the ride had inspired them to cycle more: We also asked Bradford Sky Riders for their top tips on local routes.

Annetta from Ilkley said of the day "We have had a lovely day, it's a fantastic event, we've had a most brilliant day, and we've only been around the course once as we have spent most of the day in the park enjoying all the activities and the atmosphere. We do cycle regularly; we really do think this event will encourage other people to get out on their bikes, as I live in Ilkley my favourite ride out into the Dales towards Burnsall."

Tina Clarke from Menston said "Yes its been a great day, the course was really good, we stopped off at the points all the points, to enjoy all the events. The kids have really enjoyed all the events here in the park especially the Kango shoes. My favourite ride is a 13 mile round trip to Bolton Abbey.

After completing the circuit for the third time the Wagstaff family, dad Andrew said, "that this had been a great event for Bradford, as it helps to bring people into the city. My family have never cycled into the city before, and it won't be the last, I have recently got back into cycling after some extreme cycling in Wales so this has been a gentle start to riding more as a family, the canal is very good for us living in Idle, so straight down to Apperley Bridge along towards either Rothley or Saltaire to Roberts Park.

"It's been a fantastic day, with a variety of things to do its lovely to see so many out on their bikes." said dad David Bird. Pleased with the closed road circuit mom Joanne said "We wouldn't have been able to come today with our 4 year old if the road hadn't been closed, we wouldn't have liked him to ride on the road with cars about really so it's been great for us". Dad David went on to say that this was a new hobby for the family and they were hoping to get out more on nice safe routes.